Tag Archives: Camelia Miron Skiba

The good, the bad and everything in between writing heroines–Author Panel

24 Feb

The other day, during one of the Muses monthly meeting, dear friend and fellow author Mimi Sebastian invited us to participate in an author panel and how could I say no when the subject was so dear and near to my heart: the good, the bad and everything in between writing heroines.

Mimi sent us several questions to which each one of us had to answer. The results are below and I invite you to stick around and check out what each one of these amazing and hardworking authors have to say.

Thank you, Mimi for putting this together! Thank you Jenn, Shanyn, Leslie, Anne for sharing ❤

Describe your heroine including her name, what she does (profession or trade) and anything else interesting about her.

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Jenn Windrow

Jenn: Noel Chase is a spunky and sarcastic artist who thinks that life with her boyfriend Len is perfectly fine until Cupid’s crappy aim saddles her with Grayson Adler, a couldn’t-be-more-wrong-or-her match. Once that arrow strikes, Noel finds it impossible to ignore the attraction she feels for her Cupid-appointed soul mate. In the end, Noel has to endure Psyche’s four trials to find out who is waiting for her, Len the man she loves or Grayson the man she loathes.

Shanyn: Georgia Belle Brooks is a scientist (microbiologist) working for a state environmental agency. She dreamed about inventing ways to combat pollution in the lab, but ended up working in governmental oversight. She collects environmental samples and data from watersheds (sometimes personally) and tracks down companies who pollute them, testifying in court in lawsuits against them. She views herself as a crusader.

Leslie: Hadley “Lark” Larkspur is a black hat hacker turned FBI Cybersecurity Analyst. She is a restless quester of knowledge with ADHD, is easily bored, and curses like a sailor. Though she comes from old money, she broke free from her family’s conformist expectations and forged her own path in life.

Camelia: I’m writing a series of six novellas (3 finished, 2 in the process of being written, and the 6th only came to me about a week ago, so I haven’t developed it yet). Each novella follows a couple who eventually will find their happily ever after. Since it would take forever to describe each heroine, I’ll focus on Harper McKenna who is in some ways the leader of the pack. She’s an ambitious lawyer, whose heartbreak didn’t stop her from achieving her dreams, but rather pushed her toward success. She’s fearless and willing to take responsibility for her own mistakes and suffer their consequences no matter how harsh.

Anne: Lieutenant Sara Denning is a navy helicopter pilot who is one of two women serving aboard a ship with a crew of five hundred. Her goal is to blend in, but she shuts away her femininity to do that. She also flies over the ocean for a living, but is deathly afraid of the water due to a near-drowning experience when she was a teenager.

Mimi: In my Necromancer Books, Ruby is a necromancer and a college anthropology professor. She seeks to have a normal life, because necromancers tend to go down in flames from using their power, but certain events in the supernatural community, and certain men, convince her to join the fight.

What makes her strong and sexy?

Mimi: This is my favorite question because I like heroines whose strength comes not solely from physical prowess, but from emotional maturity, independence, and empathy. I’ve read too many heroines who are so emotionally stunted, (yet they are considered badass because they can shoot a gun) I feel like I’m reading about an immature teenager instead of a strong woman. I think, from the responses, our author panel feels the same!! (And Leslie, love the messy, purple hair!) Ruby has her issues, but she’s not afraid to express her opinion, her doubts, her needs, and her desires.

Leslie: Lark, this tiny pixie with messy purple hair, has an indomitable joie de vivre and the heart of a lion. She speaks her mind, will do anything for a friend (to include put herself in danger), and isn’t afraid to try new things.

Camelia: She doesn’t know how not to be strong.

Anne: She’s knowledgeable and competent, but I doubt she’d ever think of herself as sexy . . . which makes her exactly that. She eventually realizes that she can embrace every facet of womanhood and still do her job and be respected.

Jenn: Noel’s confidence and willingness to fight for the love she wants, to defy Cupid, pay the consequences, and follow her heart are what make her strong and sexy.

Shanyn: George learned pretty early in adolescence that she didn’t fit into anyone’s

Shanyn Hosier

Shanyn Hosier

pigeonhole of who she ought to be or proper/expected behavior. She’s smart, ambitious, and idealistic. She doesn’t care if you think she’s a nerd or a slut or a bitch. She also refuses to play along with the “mousy” stereotype for intelligent women. She learned the power of her own sexuality and how to use it. George is the type of gal to make the first move.

How do you think the writing of female characters has changed in your genre?

Camelia: I love heroines that are strong, sassy, independent women who fight to pick themselves up after life threw a few lemons at them. Today’s market tends to portrait heroines that are clumsy, damsels in distress needing a man to make them happy, sometimes controlling them and totally confusing real/true love with infatuation/obsession, etc.

Leslie: The days of a helpless female wringing her hands and waiting to be rescued are long over, thank goodness. Today’s female characters reflect our society – they are strong, know what they want out of life, and aren’t afraid to go get it.

Picture of Anne A. Wilson

Anne A. Wilson

Anne: Authors are writing female characters who are smart, independent, and aren’t afraid to take the lead. Love and relationships are important, but today’s female protagonist—especially in romantic suspense—isn’t waiting for the hero to sweep her off her feet. I love that female characters are written today so they garner the same respect as their male counterparts and are seen as equals. 

Jenn: I’m starting to see a lot more tough girls in the Paranormal romance genre, Woman who take their future in their own hands and fight for love. Woman who are less likely to rely on a man to get them out of a tough situation. Gone are the girls that need the mysterious man to save them from some otherworldly disaster. Instead, the girls are fighting along side their man with their own swords raised.

Shanyn: I think (hope?) that women don’t need an excuse to be independent, ambitious, driven, sexual characters. There doesn’t have to be any inciting incident—no childhood trauma, for instance—to make a woman decide to rely only upon herself for success, or to be sexually aggressive.

Mimi: Don’t know what I can say to top what the other authors have opined. Writing female characters has changed for the better. Yeah!

What was the most important thing you wanted to bring out/show about your heroine?

Shanyn: Strength doesn’t mean you never cry, or never fail at something. Ambition doesn’t mean you never experience self-doubt, or second-guess yourself, or change your mind (or even goal). Being smart doesn’t mean you don’t make questionable decisions.

Mimi: I love this Shanyn. I think my heroines are sometimes blubber fests, but seriously, are we not allowed to cry? I’m going to use Sabine Tanner from my pirate historical Devil’s Island for this question, because I wanted to write an 18th Century virgin who was not “virginal”. And I’m seeing this more and more in historical romances. Female characters who, for whatever reason, are aware of and comfortable with their own sexuality. Sabine makes a choice to be intimate with the pirate captain, Boone Wilder. She’s not afraid of the intimacy, she desires it, and it’s okay for her character and for the story. Her back story gives some insight as to why she’s familiar with the sex act while still a virgin and once again, I think it shapes and fits her character.

Jenn: I wanted Noel to figure out her love life on her own. Torn between two men, one she believes is the best thing for her and one she is undeniable attracted to, Noel had to work through her emotions, dig deep, and listen to her heart. She has to heal her past scars to allow herself a happy future without fear. After everything, I wanted Noel’s choice to be her own.

Camelia: When I began the story, Harper was so driven by ambition, I didn’t think I’d be

Camelia Miron Skiba

Camelia Miron Skiba

able to tone her down, soften her a bit. Then she made a colossal mistake where I thought it’d be impossible for her to recover. Her ability to acknowledge her fault and the need to fix the disaster she created totally took me by surprise along with her willingness to lose it all rather than live a life of deceit. Deep down, she knew that she’d caused a lot of pain and, even though she couldn’t take it back, she assumed its responsibility, taking the brunt of it.

Anne: I wanted to show that Sara could be competent and strong, while still possessing relatable vulnerabilities. Female military members have fears, questions, and weaknesses just like anyone else. They’re not superwomen.

Leslie's Headshot

Leslie Jones

Leslie: I wanted to show that quirky and unique characters aren’t limited to supporting roles, and that intelligence is a sexy trait in a woman. Also, I wanted to show that even heroines who don’t have a military or law enforcement background can be and are courageous and capable.

How much do you think your heroine reflects you?

Anne: There is a lot of me in Sara. While in the service, I often found myself in the extreme minority, so I did everything I could not to stand out, not to make waves. I did it at the expense of my femininity, though, so I was quite lopsided in that way. 

Shanyn: In some ways, she’s an alternate-history me. George and I have very similar backstories and have lived through some very similar life events, but she made different choices than I did. I think she’s smarter than I am, certainly more ambitious. We’re equally idealistic.

Jenn: Noel’s personality and job and inner smart-ass are all me. I think all my characters reflect a bit of me in them.

Leslie: I think all the character we write contain some speck of ourselves. In this case, though, I see very little of Lark in me. Yes, I can swear with the best of them. However, I’m much more conservative, and not nearly as brave. Lark is patterned after a close friend, who recognizes herself on every page!

Mimi: I agree. I think all of us draw from different aspects of ourselves and then the character grows from there with his or her own traits and quirks. Ruby is definitely a reflection of me, in how she views the world, and her insecurities, but willing to admit them.

Camelia: A lot and a bit at the same time, if it’s possible. I’m not driven by ambition, yet I follow my dreams. I’m not as strong, yet I don’t shy from assuming responsibilities for my faults. And like Harper, I did get the man 😉

What was the most challenging part of writing this character?

Leslie: I really love Lark! She’s a bright spark in a world of convention and sameness. I’m continually walking the razor wire of showing her authentic self without turning off the reader. Women who curse can be considered unladylike, and I think it would be easy to go overboard showing her quirky nature.

Camelia: How strong she was, but underneath all of that façade being able to capture her insecurities and self-doubt. 

Jenn: Making her likeable. Noel is hard edged and that made for a character that needed a “save the cat” moment early on. An act of kindness that showed it wasn’t her personality, but her situation that caused her to abrasive.

Shanyn: George is a joy to write, but that doesn’t mean she’s easy to write. I love her quirkiness, her vocabulary. She and I both wrestle with what it means to be feminist, how that concept has evolved over the last 3 decades.

Anne: For sure, what I described earlier about making Sara relatable and not superhuman was the most challenging thing. I’d get carried away because I wanted to showcase her strengths, but it would tip the scales too far to where she wasn’t believable or relatable anymore. Thank heavens for my beta readers who reminded me of that. Their input ensured I’d written Sara honestly.

Mimi: Ruby is a necromancer. She’s not physically strong like a vampire or werewolf (I mean, think Elena from Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld.). So how can a necromancer show the strength of her power besides maybe reanimating a boxer? I had to be creative and I think I found some fun, interesting, and sometimes weird ways in which Ruby used her power to get out of sticky situations!

Name a favorite female character from any medium (book, tv, movie). Why do you like this character?

Mimi Sebastian

Mimi Sebastian

Mimi: I think everyone had a hard time choosing one character! I was torn between Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show) and Scully (X-Files), but ultimately chose Dana Scully. She was super whip-smart, independent, but wasn’t afraid to show a vulnerable side and her struggles with her own beliefs as she and Mulder’s investigations introduced them to tragedy, horror, and the fantastic. Her character and Gillian Anderson’s portrayal helped change the tv landscape’s depiction of women and relationships between men and women. Yes, her and Mulder hooked up but I didn’t see this as a failing of the show but a natural progression of their relationship, and what a joy in watching them interact, challenge each other, and support each other in a fully trusting relationship.

Leslie: Wow, that’s a tough one! From Catherine Hepburn’s portrayal of Tracy Lord in Philadelphia Story, to Diana Riggs’ Emma Peel (The Avengers), to Scarlett O’Hara and Xena and Katniss Everdean, women of strength and intelligence show courage under adversity. However, I’m going with Fa Mulan, from the Disney movie Mulan. Because the Huns have invaded China, the Emperor is conscripting men to fight. Knowing her father would not survive the war, Mulan selflessly chooses to take his place and impersonate a man. Despite her terror and fear of discovery, she succeeds as a soldier, even rescuing her commanding officer and, in the end, saving the Emperor and China. I love imperfect characters who rise above their own fears and securities to act with courage and conviction. Her motives were pure, and in the end she won the respect of those who looked down on her because she was a woman.

Camelia: It has to be Alice from “The Executioner” by Ana Calin, which is the latest book I read. Alice is a college student caught in the middle of a genetics war. She’s trying to figure out how her genius father got involved in all the while not losing her head and heart to the criminal sent to kill her father. Alice has the best sense of humor, using it as a self-defense mechanism. Her brain doesn’t seem to ever stop, finding details and the next piece of puzzle. When you think you have her figured it all out, you get another surprise.

Anne: One of my favorite female characters of all time is Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. She’s feisty, independent, and quick. But most importantly, I think she’s true to herself. She’s also genuine and sweet as she wades through the growing pains of becoming a young woman. It’s almost impossible not to root for this character. 

Shanyn: Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) from the TV show Parks and Recreation. I relate to her quirkiness, her idealistic ambition, her tireless work ethic, her self-doubt, her devotion & loyalty to friends, her sense of humor, her craftiness (scrapbooking), her love of breakfast… I could go on and on!

Jenn: So many characters to chose from…UGH!! Okay…the question says pick one….hmmm. I’m going to pick Charlie Davidson from Darynda Jones Grave series. Charlie is the perfect combination of kick ass and sexy. She runs into every situation ready to save and protect those that she loves, no matter what may happen to her. She’s quirky, sarcastic, and has named all her female body parts, what more can you ask for in a heroine?

You can view our author bios here and see below for links to each author’s website and Amazon page!

Shanyn Hosier website and Amazon.

Leslie Jones website and Amazon.

Anne A. Wilson website and Amazon.

Camelia Miron Skiba website and Amazon.

Jennifer Windrow website.

Mimi Sebastian website and Amazon.

Happy New Me! Happy New You! Happy New Year!

31 Dec

I blinked and January 1st 2015 stood on my doorsteps. I blinked again and December 31st same year followed. Did it feel the same way to you?

There are less than 13 hours left in this year as I write this post and I’m sure they’ll pass as fast as the rest of them. I’m not lamenting, nor wishing they’d pass by faster because I’m tired of trying to get somewhere, always in search for something and always trying to achieve it. How about just be here in this very moment and enjoy it, without any plans for the next step? How about just let life and time just happen and figure out what to do as it comes? Sounds like a plan?

Ever since I began writing and publishing books I’ve been on the run, always trying to write the next page, the next chapter, the next book. Every story was another journey, another discovery of what I could do and another evolution. All these years my motto was it doesn’t matter who I am or where I come from, but what I leave behind is. I thought I have it all figured out.

Socrates, one of the biggest philosopher to ever grace humanity once said, “I am talking a crock of shit.” I had no idea this expression dated hundreds of years ago and belongs to him, but who am I to argue with him? Needless to say, after some soul searching I realized my motto was a . . . pot of smelly stuff. I had a meltdown because, if you think about it, why would what I leave behind matter more than who I am here and now in this very moment? How will I ever know if what I left behind mattered with no way of seeing it? How am I gonna enjoy it? Think Socrates; does he know how much he touched humankind? Does he know people still remember him centuries later? And if he knows, does it make a difference?

I’m not sure. Frankly I doubt with all my heart it makes any difference to him. He’s gone, like I’ll be gone one day and instead of beating myself up to leave something behind me, I’m going to learn how to live here, now and freaking enjoy it. No more worrying about tomorrow, but live today. No more five-year plans, but rather let the sun soak my skin, the air fill my lungs and the grass touch my feet. 

To A Happy New Me! To A Happy New You! To A Happy New Year (and by Golly, really mean it!!!!)

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Blog Hop–Stuck In A Good Book

20 Sep

Here we are again with a blog hop this time organized by Kathy @ I’m A Reader Not A Writer and Valerie @ Stuck in A Good Book and as it happens the theme of this hop is … Stuck In A Good Book. This hop runs between September 20th through the 25th and every single site signed up to participate has amazing prizes, so I hope you’ll stop by and see what they have to offer.

StuckinaGoodBook

Readers all over the world have told me that they get stuck in my books so I’m using this opportunity to offer one e-copy each of all of them: Hidden Heart (contemporary romance), A World Apart (military romance), Born In Vengeance and Born In Sin (from the Dacian Legends series, ancient worlds romance) and latest novel, Me Tarzan–You Jane (NA contemporary romance).

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What you have to do to win? Simple: either become a follower on Twitter @CamiSkibaOR follow this blog by clicking on the button to the right called “Sign me up!” (atop all images) OR become a fan on FB and leave a comment with the title of a book you got stuck in.

Enjoy hoping and good luck!

Blogging–How LOVE. WITHOUT YOU started

18 Apr

Back in the day when I began writing romance novels, I had no idea what to do to reach readers and how to promote my books. I was told I had to create a blog–like yesterday, and use the power of the internet to my advantage. So, I started doing some research online, asking people around me and following several bloggers. I sure did envy them a lot for the numbers of followers, wondering how could I too have a successful blog.

A friend of mine suggested RapidWeaver which is a web design software so here I was purchasing it. Then I signed up for three years with GoDaddy and off I went creating my blog. 

The intent of my blog was always to share from my writing and publishing journey. Once in a while I intended to post something personal so people could relate to me. I also knew how I wanted it to look, but soon I realized that RapidWeaver was really limited, or at least I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Add to that the intricate and rather hard to navigate GoDaddy content, I found myself hating blogging.

If I remember correctly I started my blog sometime in September of 2010. A year later, I probably had about 60 views (I bet 59 of them were me checking it). Frustrated doesn’t even describe how I felt and more than once I just wanted to throw it all out the window. 

But, A WORLD APART, which is my second novel was about to come out in December of 2011 and I needed to do something to change that pathetic blog of mine.  So, I went back to the drawing board and checked several platforms that hosted blogs. I narrowed my choices to bloglovin and wordpress. 

I chose wordpress because it seemed easier, especially for someone like me, whose nickname is “I’m-not-technical” (that pretty much sums up exactly how I feel when it comes to anything that had the tiniest bit of technology in it). I revamped the title from Author Camelia Miron Skiba to LOVE. WITHOUT YOU, asked my dear friend Iwona Adamkiewicz (who is the model on my debut novel HIDDEN HEART) for a  photo I could use for the site’s background and posted my very first post on wordpress end of September 2011.

It was not until 2012 when my blog began to attract steady visitors. Some began to follow my blog, and I remember squeaking in delight with each new subscription. 

Today 3 1/2 years and counting my blog has almost 10,000 followers and I couldn’t be happier. There are several followers who became dear friends and whose input always makes me smile.

Did I struggle? You have no idea. Did I learn anything? You bet. Was it worth it? I leave it up to you to judge. 

Fool For Books Giveaway Hop

31 Mar

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Keep them coming, I told myself when I signed up for another giveaway. Fool for Books Giveaway Hop is organized by Kathy@ I’m A Reader Not A Writer and Mary @ Bookhounds and running between April 1st -7th. Thank you ladies for your hard work!

While is really tempting to play a prank on all of you just because of April Fools, I’ll behave and stick with following the # 1 rule of any giveaway and … give away (funny how a small space between those two words make them mean something different) a $10.oo gift card (either Amazon, B&N or Starbucks) to one lucky winner.

Sounds good? I hope so.  What you have to do to win? I keep asking people to become a follower on various social media or follow these blog but I feel we all need a change. So, in order for you to win I’m kindly asking you to either:

1. Tweet: “All Camelia Miron Skiba’s books on sale for .99 cents each! http://www.amazon.com/Camelia-Miron-Skiba/e/B007C79L1S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1”

OR

2. Post to Facebook: “All Camelia Miron Skiba’s books on sale for .99 cents each!  http://www.amazon.com/Camelia-Miron-Skiba/e/B007C79L1S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1”

Once you’ve done either one of those two options please post in the comments here the link showing your post.

THANK YOU and GOOD LUCK!

Book tour ending just in time to celebrate LOVE

14 Feb

Today my virtual tour for my latest novel Me Tarzan–You Jane ends officially, just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s been a crazy fast ride, with over 40 blog stops, reviews and spotlights and I’m grateful for each and every one of them. I’m exhausted but happy at the same time, and humbled by the love and support of those amazing readers willing to give my books a chance and a place on their favorite bookshelf. 

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I didn’t grow up with Valentine’s Day and I’m not a big believer in needing a certain day to celebrate love. Personally love is something that needs to be cherished, felt, encouraged, celebrated on a daily basis, not only in one particular day. Life is fragile and fleeting and telling and showing your loved ones you love them as often as possible should be top priority on everyone’s list.

With that being said, to those of you who do celebrate Valentine’s, Day, I wish you the kind of love that takes your breath away. The kind of love that feeds your soul and heart in ways nothing else does. The kind of love that replaces your sleep and need to rest. The kind of love that makes your toes curl and your stomach an ocean of butterflies. The kind of love that bursts open your chest because your heart isn’t big enough to withhold it all. Because without love we are nothing.

Be loved and love back!

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Virtual Book Tour–Me Tarzan You Jane by Camelia Miron Skiba. Kindle Fire HD6 Giveaway

5 Jan

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I’m excited to kick off not only a brand new week but also my virtual book tour for my newest novel Me Tarzan–You Jane organized by the fabulous Julie @ ATOMR Tours.

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A heartfelt thank you to Julie for her hard work and to all bloggers who signed up for the tour! I couldn’t do it without you. I’m humbled by your willingness to read and find room on your shelf and in your heart for my novel.

Anyone purchasing the book during the tour and sharing the purchase on their FB or Twitter account, then leaving a link to their posting in the comments here, will be entered in a drawing for a Kindle Fire HD6.

kindleThe winner will be announced on January 17th here on my blog.

Let the fun begin!

TOUR SCHEDULE

January 5th

Bookaholic Babe

Books and Fandom

Escape Into A Book

Fic Central

FMR Book Grind

Mia’s Point Of View

Smokin Hot Book Blog

January 6th

Collector of book boyfriends

Sassy Divas Book Blog

January 7th

2 Girls Book: An Asian & White Chick Walk into a Book Blog

Miss Book Eater

My Favorite Things

RoloPoloBookBlog

The Flirty Reader

Underneath the Covers

January 8th

BookJunkyGirls

Love Without You (The making of Me Tarzan–You Jane)

January 9th

Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Confessions of a Y.A. and N.A. Book Addict

January 10th

Between The Lines

In My Secret -Book- World

Musings From An Addicted Reader

January 12th

Cocktails and Books

Reading Addict

January 13th

Books Need TLC

My Book Filled Life

January 14th

Making it Happen

Sundays in Bed with Books

True Story Book Blog

January 15th

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs

January  16th

Bookshelf Dreaming

Three Chicks and Their Books